“If you’ve got a business, you must make a website”, I am sure you’ve heard this statement often. It’s true. But, just having a website is not enough. It needs to be good and its efficacy depends on its ability to not only engage but also impress your target audience. If your website cannot do both these things, then it’s as good as having no website at all. After having invested all that time, effort and money into website setup, you don’t want a failure on your hands. And this is a real problem because quite a number of websites fail and that too for a variety of reasons.
One critical component of a website is its design and your website can fail if, you don’t get its design right. Effective web design rests on five key pillars. Here they are:
1. Accurate Brand Reflection
The design of your site should reflect your brand in its entirety. A website can be a successful branding weapon only if it incorporates your brand’s personality. Some designers limit this branding to using the brand’s logo and its color scheme throughout the website, but that’s limiting the branding endeavors. What you need to do is ensure that your brand philosophy comes across seamlessly when visitors are browsing your site.
The Pepsico brand stands for consumer driven products, quality and a commitment to deliver on the expectations of its consumers wherein the company and its customers can thrive together. Its corporate website reflects these qualities with aplomb. Those essentially are the key takeaways for a visitor. Its website design does this effortlessly and without resorting to design gimmicks.
2. Respect for Visitors Time
The best websites out there from the design perspective don’t beat round the bush. They make their point effectively without taking up time. The brand messaging is effortlessly woven into their design and this also conveys another important message to the visitor – “We respect your time. We don’t want you to spend more time than is absolutely necessary to give you a better understanding of what our business does.”
There is absolutely no doubt that the Bagigia website is a master-class in website design. What is really admirable is the way it has conveyed product information and its various features quickly and innovatively to the visitor. The design is used perfectly to enhance product messaging and also engage visitor attention. Visitors are instantly hooked when they land on the site, and want to know more about the product and ultimately purchase it. This is what all great websites do.
3. Content is King
Don’t be fooled into thinking content refers to the text on your site. In fact, content includes everything right from text to videos and from images to all other interactive or visual elements on your site. This content should not only look good but also be relevant to your site. There is no point in using high quality visuals if they are irrelevant to your brand. On the other hand, if you use images and text that take your brand message forward and make it more impactful, they will impress as well as engage users.
When you create a website, you first need to think about your target audience and the kind of content they will appreciate and which makes an instant impression on them. This will help you get your content right and this is what Uber does excellently. The messaging is pitch perfect with the right use of images and text. The content is relevant and actually acts as call-to-action. This is what your web design must be. While you will be using call-to-action elements, your design must be actionable. This is where content comes into play and must be used with precision.
4. Non Interference with Functionality
Don’t try to act smart with your design so much so that it impedes functionality. You might have come across instances wherein designers have gone overboard with their designs and the various design elements have actually come together to complicate the website’s functional aspect, which primarily includes its navigation.
It’s important to remember that while your target audience will appreciate design innovation, what it also expects from the site is functional familiarity. They won’t appreciate design that acts as a barrier to the ease of use of the site. Your navigation options must be easily discoverable
even if you use a unique design approach.
Diadora: Bright Delivery offers visitors an interactive site with some great visuals and a navigation that is essentially the pièce de résistance of the website design. It’s been seamlessly integrated with the design elements and is a key component of the website’s storytelling concept and offers visitors an immersive experience.
5. Completely User Driven
Every design decision you take must tie in with user needs. You must put yourself in the shoes of your users throughout the design process, that’s the only way you will be able to make an impression on them and integrate visual elements that will help engage their attention for a sufficient period of time. You cannot take their attention for granted.
All the above examples are extremely usable and that is the inherent quality their design aims for. They have perfectly implemented design to make their site more usable and appealing.
So, here they are – The five pillars that will definitely ensure your website’s design impresses and engages your target audience. Your objective as a web designer and/or the owner of the website is to ensure that the website is a perfect brand vehicle and online representation of your business and what it stands for. By implementing or staying true to these pillars you will be able to ensure this happens and also generate ROI from your website.
Aigars is CEO and founder of Colorlib, a company that develops website templates, WordPress themes and is behind several best-selling products. He has been in the web development for 3 and internet marketing for 7+ years and that’s just the beginning.